Bhubaneswar: A large number of people were evacuated from areas marooned due to breaches in Baitarani river embankment in Odisha`s Jajpur and Bhadrak districts on Tuesday.
However, water level started receding in most rivers as heavy rainfall, which had been lashing the state for the past few days lessened.
Special Relief Commissioner(SRC) P K Mohapatra said Baitarani river, which was flowing above its danger mark following heavy rainfall during the past four days, has breached its embankment at Patapur in Jajpur district and at Sathiebankuda in Bhadrak affecting adjoining villages.
Hati river too has submerged some areas in Kalahandi district, the SRC said adding the overall situation has improved today following respite from heavy rains.
Baitarani river is flowing above the danger mark at places like Anandpur and Akhuapada but its water level is receding. The water level in all other rivers in the state is now falling, Mohapatra said.
"There is no reason to panic. The government is fully prepared to deal with any situation," he said.
Jajpur collector Anil Samal said following the breach at Patapur crop fields in about 20 villages have been submerged and around 6,000 people have been evacuated to safe places like schools, cyclone shelters, anganwadi centres and other structures.
Free kitchens have been opened to provide cooked food to them.
Samal said teams of fire brigade, Odisha Disaster Rapid Action Force (ODRAF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) have been pressed into service for undertaking rescue and relief operation.
A large number of people were evacuated from Sathiebankuda in Bhadrak district, a senior district official said.
The government had sounded flood alert in all districts and instructions were given to
take expeditious steps to evacuate people from low-lying areas.
?We are keeping a close watch on the situation and asked all the concerned block development officers and tehsildars to be vigilant,? Samal said.
A round-the-clock control room has been opened, he said adding the leaves of the officials have been cancelled in view of the situation.